"Little Brother?"

Submitted by A2toGVSU on September 30th, 2009 at 12:56 PM
Alright, I'm a long time reader and I finally joined today to put this thought out and see what you mgobloggers think.  Sorry in advance if this isn't quite diary material, just keep in mind that I just joined.

I know that Mike Hart got us started on the "little brother" analogy, and as much as I am a Mike Hart fan, I just don't agree with calling MSU the little brother.  Here is what I think of when I think of a little brother:

- Someone who you hope has success
- Someone you would cheer for
- Someone you can sympathize for
- Someone you (probably) have a few things in common with

To me, Sparty isn't any of these things.  I hate MSU, for all the reasons here and more.  I hope they lose every game except maybe ND.  I hope they tie ND.  And I will never feel sorry for them no matter how badly they get embarrassed.  MSU is more like the evil stepsister to this year's somewhat-cinderalla Michigan team.

I am hoping to tag another team as "little brother."  Namely, the EMU Eagles.  Back to the above little bro characteristics from before.  I hope Eastern does well for the remainder of this season and in the future.  Remember Mike Hart's comments about playing one-on-one basketball with your little brother?  I don't recall it verbatum, but it had something to do with letting him hang around in the game, giving him a little confidence before ultimately you beat him.  I don't want to give MSU any confidence.  I want to blow them out.  Eastern, on the other hand, I looked at and thought, "aww, I hope we win handily but I dont want to embarrass this team."  That has a little more "little brother" sentiment to it, don't you think?  I felt bad for the Eagles when they lost to Northwestern on that last FG.  Lastly, we have more in common with EMU.  Ron English is their coach, and thought I don't disagree with RR deciding to let him go (differeing philosophies sure I get it), I think he's a good coach and I wish him success anywhere he goes that isn't OSU, MSU, ND, USC or any SEC school.  And who here isn't a Tyrone Wheatly fan? He's coaching EMU running backs.  Now that makes me feel less terrible about Dwayne Priest running wild in the first half last week.  They are our little brother, we had to let them stick around and build some confidence, just like Mike Hart described.

So, to me:
EMU = little brother
MSU = Evil stepsister

So my question to the MGoCommunity is this: Are you happy with calling sparty "little bro?" Or is eastern a better fit?


double blue

September 30th, 2009 at 1:10 PM ^

well, you would think that's what a big brother would wish for, but that would be in a functional family and aren't most family's disfunctional. also, the label evil stepsister is rooted in old cinderella story lines and is not very pc- putting down blended families is unnecessary.

moreover, i think mike hart was pretty clear that what he meant by little brother was some one you can toy with- let them get the lead and think they are big stuff only to come back and beat them and let them know they still have more to learn. i think that fits MSU just fine.


September 30th, 2009 at 3:58 PM ^

"moreover, i think mike hart was pretty clear that what he meant by little brother was some one you can toy with"

Actually, Hart was just referencing MSU RB Caulcrick's Drama Queen rant the Friday before the game, where he claimed that it is easy to hate all Michigan players because they are arrogant and think that MSU is their "Little Brother."

Hart merely turned around the words of Caulcrick's pregame trashtalk after the game.

This year there is more drama queen whining coming out of East Lansing, hopefully nobody comments on it if UofM wins setting off a bigger tizzy.

03 Blue 07

September 30th, 2009 at 2:42 PM ^

Yes, logically, EMU is much more like a little brother. But the "Little Brother" meme re: MSU did not come about from some sort of logical, rational e-nalysis. Its genesis WAS the Mike Hart quote. Without his original quote, it likely wouldn't be in our lexicon. We have all kinds of nicknames for MSU, and if we sat around and thought of logical but sarcastic nicknames, we'd have a ton that might be more apt. But "Little Brother" caught on because of how and when it was broadcast for the first time and by whom. Thus, it stays, and will live in Michigan lore for decades, I'd speculate, like quotes such as "the hell with Notre Dame," and "the team, the team, the team," and..."tremendous." Wait. Maybe that last one is just me.


September 30th, 2009 at 3:38 PM ^

because in all reality, MY "little" brother is my best friend.

I've nothing in me anywhere that sees or feels anything "brotherly" towards Sparty. They are not a rival. They are not a peer. They are in no regards an "equal". I refuse to consign them an ounce of respect. Sparty is an uncleansable stain on our state.

This week, we're forced to acknowledge them and listen to Sparty pound their chests and demand respect, while throughout the rest of the year, every year, they do NOTHING to deserve it. From their vote to send a team from Ohio to the '74 Rose bowl over a team from Michigan, to the bed-wettingly sad '97 Aloha Bowl, to their annual loss to a MAC team and subsequent season ending slide below mediocrity, they do not deserve to be called a "rival". When they can put forth "Michigan week" effort against other opponents, week in and week out, then I will respect them. Until then, they are an under-achieving spoiler team with a single-minded obsession in Ann Arbor.

"Little brother" should have been received happily by the Sparty collective as a compliment to their status. But to me, the mere notion that, on their side, even a dig would allow them to infer "brotherhood" with us is nauseating.

If Mike Hart's dig was allowed to devolve into "evil stepsister", the brotherhood status would be stripped away, Sparty would be even unhappier, and my own personal enjoyment would increase.


September 30th, 2009 at 3:53 PM ^

Actually, Hart did not start the "Little Brother" comments, MSU players did, Hart just retaliated and made them cry - literally.

Caulcrick the Friday before the game, called all Michigan players arrogant and claimed they all thought that MSU was their "LITTLE BROTHER". Hart was clearly referencing this crybaby pregame trashtalk of MSU's Caulcrick as Hart finished his Little Brother comments with "and I only say that because that is what they think we think."

Paraphrasing here-

Friday before the 2007 game to the Newspapers: Spartan Drama Queen Caulcrick says "Michigan is so arrogant that is why we hate them. They think that we are their "LITTLE BROTHER", but you know what we are not and we'll prove it"

Saturday after the 2007 game to the TV: Wolverine Mike Hart said, it was like playing your little brother, we let them get the lead and then took it back, and I only say that because that is what they think we think (clearly a reference to Caulcrick's drama queen rant on Friday)

Saturday Night after the 2007 game: Caulcrick, while literally crying says "Michigan needs to learn to win with class sniff sniff" -- Yes Caulcrick the guy who planted a flag in Notre Dame stadium gave Hart a lecture on winning with class. Hypocrite drama queen.

The King of Belch

September 30th, 2009 at 5:21 PM ^

Thing needs to die, and die quickly. It was stupid and classless when Hart opened up his yap about it, and it is incredibly stupid that UM fans use it at all. Embarrassing, too, for those of us UM fans who don't need the hate and ridicule of other programs, people, and media that drives much of our fan base.


October 1st, 2009 at 7:01 AM ^

I guess I'll never get it, not living in the State of Michigan. There are things I don't like about State, but when a Michigan fan roots first for whoever is playing State, they have put too much into this. I really liked Misopogon's long post on this topic.


October 1st, 2009 at 9:38 AM ^

"I guess I'll never get it, not living in the State of Michigan."

Steve, you answered your own question. It depends on where you live and who's in your face every time there's a negative news story about your team.

I know a few Michigan fans living in Tennessee that loathe the Fighting Creamsickles because of all the crap they took on a daily basis (yes, daily) by fans who feel the '97 Heisman vote was a snub on their entire state.

Michigan has a huge, loyal fanbase. We're like the Red Wings and Yankees fans in that those fans WILL catch grief from just about every other fanbase they come in contact with. It's just that some fanbases are more obnoxious than others.